Though long since lost from living memory and now more than 100 years in the past, the First World War continues to hold a fascination for British and Commonwealth citizens, many of whom have ancestors who fought and died in this ‘War to End All Wars’. Travel just a short distance across the Channel and into France and Belgium and there are a host of memorials, museums and battlefields connected with the five-year conflict to be found.
Talbot House provides a gentle introduction to our tour with an insight into life behind the lines for British soldiers as they escaped briefly from the horrors of war, but the stark reality is brought home as we visit cemeteries at Essex Farm, Langemark and Tyne Cot. At the museum known as In Flanders Field, named for one of the best known poems of the war, we see the exhibition which tells of the invasion of Belgium and the four years of trench war in the Westhoek, before continuing to Ieper (Ypres) where we attend the moving ceremony of the playing of the ‘Last Post’ at the Menin Gate.
After our day in Belgium our attention shifts to the Somme region of France, where we visit both branches of the Historial de la Grande Guerre - the Museum of the Great War – at Péronne and at Thiepval, which provide detailed accounts of the campaign in the Somme and also act as memorials to the dead and missing. Other visits include the Lochnagar Crater, the remains of a mine that was exploded at the start of the Battle of the Somme and the only one accessible to the public; and the Newfoundland Memorial Park and the Ulster Tower, dedicated to the memory of soldiers of the Newfoundland Regiment and the 36th (Ulster) Division respectively. Our final visit is to the scene of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, where there is a memorial to Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Our tours will be led by David MacLennan, a battlefield tour specialist.
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
- Ferry crossings